Can dogs eat prawns?

Don't panic if your dog has sneaked a few cooked prawns whilst you weren't looking. It's more than likely your dog will be fine, keep your eye on your dog and check for any of the symptoms listed. If the prawns were raw, you would more likely need some worming tablets, to be on the safe side.
Woman eating prawns with her dog.
Read the risks before you decide to give your dog prawns.

Prawns aren’t everyone’s favourite food, I can’t say they are mine especially with the digested algae and plankton vein that sometimes left running through the prawn is on full view. It can be quite off-putting, plus I also tend to overcook mine. Perhaps you have overcooked them like I usually manage to do, and they are only fit for the dog now, or you would like to share your favourite food with your dog. Whatever the reason is, let’s find out if your dog can eat prawns and if it’s worth the risk of giving them to your dog.

Dogs can benefit from eating prawns they can provide them with a good source of protein, phosphorus, B3, and B12 vitamins. These vitamins are essential to your dog’s health. However, they have to be peeled, cleaned, and cooked thoroughly to avoid any potentially harmful bacteria entering your dog. Prawns also must have no shells on when feeding them to your dog as they can be hazardous, especially to the smaller dog breeds.

We now know that prawns are okay for our dogs, but, with that said, is it worth the risk? Let me explain some of the possibilities that you must know to make the right decision when it comes to feeding your dog prawns.

Cook them thoroughly

When you offer your dog a prawn or two, make sure they are fully cooked since prawns can carry intestinal parasites that can infect the gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, lungs, and liver of your dog depending on the species.

The most common parasites hosted on a prawn:

  • Vorticella
  • Scutariella japonica
  • Ellobiopsidae
  • Fascioliasis
  • Clonorchiasis

Which can cause:

  • Tapeworm
  • Ringworm
  • Flatworm
  • Hookworm
Illustration of a tapeworm.
Illustration of a tapeworm

Did you know (interesting)

Get this, and the parasites can turn prawns white and pleasant on the eye so they look more edible to other animals, thus changing the host from a prawn to whatever has eaten the prawn that will be the new host for the parasite, and the cycle continues.

My dog has eaten prawns what should I do?

Don’t panic if your dog has sneaked a few cooked prawns whilst you weren’t looking. It’s more than likely your dog will be fine. Keep your eye on your dog and check for any of the symptoms above. If the prawns were raw, you would more likely need some worming tablets to be on the safe side.

Tablets will get rid of a potential parasite that has been passed from the prawn to your dog, and since prawns are pretty much rife with bacteria, please contact your veterinarian or get some tablets from a reliable online source. They aren’t expensive and will save you money in the long run. The longer the intestinal parasites are in your dog’s tummy, the more damage they will cause.

What are intestinal parasites?

Intestinal parasites are tiny living creatures mainly found in raw fish, and often they enter the body of a dog via its food source. They will then set up camp and multiply/grow in your dog’s tummy, causing many problems for your dog:

Symptoms of intestinal parasites

  • Diarrhoea
  • Scooting their bottom on the floor
  • Vomiting
  • Bloated tummy
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in appetite can be decreased or increased.
  • Decreased activity, weakness
  • Dull looking coat

How do you get rid of intestinal parasites?

The only way to get rid of intestinal parasites is tablets provided by your vet or an online approved store. It kills off the bacteria living in your dog’s tummy. If your dog has any of the above symptoms, you need to take him or her to the vet straight away. The longer the intestinal parasites are in your dog’s belly, the bigger they get and the more damage they will cause. If you already wormed your dog, they will have some protection. Worming tablets will offer protection and kill the parasite, although it does depend on when the last tablet was taken.

How often should you worm a dog?

Adult dog

It would be best if you regularly wormed your adult dog at least every three months. However, depending on the lifestyle of your dog, you may want to speak with your vet, and they may recommend worming your dog more regularly.


Puppies will need to be wormed more than adult dogs because they’re more at risk of getting worms from their mother’s milk. Puppies usually need worming from the age of three months every month up until six months old. However, you should be in complete contact with your vet to have more specific information on deworming your puppy.

Reliable company sources

We now know that dogs, in general, should be regularly wormed anyway however just in case here are some well-known companies that you can trust that can help your dog in case of any potential invasion.

Bob Martin – sold on amazon, quick delivery, cheap and good reviews.


We know that it is okay to feed your dog prawns, but can you guarantee that they are free from parasites, and is it worth the risk in case they aren’t. I dont think it is. Let us remember that dogs already get all the nutrients they need from their daily food. But if you can’t resite those puppy dogs eyes, I dont blame you. I hope I have answered your question and also given you plenty of extra things to consider and watch out for when giving your dog prawns to consume. Please also remember to regularly worm dogs it will help keep them healthy and keep vet bills low.

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. She is a qualified dog groomer and currently studying canine behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016.